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As the December 17 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens looms, brands and marketers everywhere are looking for ways to capture any bite of the Star Wars pie. How to do just that is the subject of our upcoming webinar, Smart Brands Go Beyond Demographics – Star Wars Is the Proof.

The American Marketing Association’s Anthony Salas will moderate the discussion between NetBase CMO Pernille Bruun-Jensen and Brian Solis, award-winning author and principal analyst at Altimeter. Here’s a preview of the topics they’ll cover:

What do Star Wars fans want?

No, we’re not talking about reverting to classic versions of the original (now remastered) films (but Han shot first!), or erasing Jar Jar Binks from haters’ collective memories. We mean going beyond the Star Wars universe, to what these devoted fans think and feel about everything else in their lives. What are their deepest desires? What are their (other) brand preferences?

If you think you don’t need to know, you’re definitely off target. Pernille and Brian will tell you why.

Who’s running the show?

If you think it’s you, think again. Consumers are in charge now, thanks to social. The consumer experience IS the brand – so you need to make the experience a good one. That means personalized, individualized – whatever you’re doing to engage your audience has to be about THEM.

As soon as you start marketing “at” them, they click away. But don’t worry, we can tell you how to become their BFFs.

Aiming your tractor beam

Here’s a telling snippet of a CinemaBlend piece about Disney buying LucasFilm and producing the new movies, “Naturally, fanboys [emphasis ours] started to foam at the mouth with anticipation.”

Any brand making this type of assumption while trying to capture their audience (smartly, Star Wars never has) would be missing out on a lot.

Reducing your audience to a single broad demographic like “males between the ages of 18 and 24” doesn’t give you enough information to engage at that personal level. What you want to do is use psychographics and behaviors to find multiple segments to target specifically.

This can uncover an entire universe of prospects you never would have thought to include otherwise. Like 40-year-old women who like to knit (Star Wars hats for their nephews). Or Pentatonix fans. Our LIVE Pulse picked up tweets about the vocal group’s upcoming Star Wars tribute on the AMAs. Hello, new audience segment you’d never have thought of.

The key is not to decide who your audience is based on suppositions. Let the social data show you who your audience is – and engage them.

This is just a brief glimpse of how to take your social marketing to more distant galaxies, of course. We’ll discuss much more in the webinar Smart Brands Go Beyond Demographics – Star Wars Is the Proof, so be sure you register to join us December 1 at 10:00 a.m. PT.

The Force, and NetBase, is with you.

Image by JDHancock.